Nothing I can say, really, I’m just recording it because it makes it more real.
Howard says, “I’ve called this news conference to announce that the Government has authorised the Chief of the Australian Defence Force, General Cosgrove, to place the Australian forces already deployed in the Gulf region as part of any US-led coalition operation that may take place in the future directed in accordance with existing authority under United Nations resolutions to disarm Iraq.” (Age transcript.)
And at the press conference,
“JOURNALIST: If Australia is not at war with Iraq now, is there a point coming in the next few days, couple of days, when that will….
PRIME MINISTER: If you’re worried about or asking about whether some formal declaration of war is needed no it’s not because the action is being taken on our advice pursuant to existing Security Council resolutions. So there’s no formal declaration needed. ”

“JOURNALIST: Alright, when does the ultimatum run out?
PRIME MINISTER: Well the President will be making a speech in a few hours time and he will have something to say about that. But having now taken the decision to commit Australian forces to the coalition for possible future action, I am not going to speculate about when that might occur, that is an operational thing and I’m going to be very careful from now on not to talk about operational matters but to leave that to the military spokesman.”

“JOURNALIST: Prime Minister is it the case that only the three combatant nations, the US, the UK and Australia believe that they have the full authority of the United Nations to go to war?
PRIME MINISTER: I can’t speak for other nations, I speak for Australia and speaking for Australia we have a very sound legal basis for this decision. We have never needed the 18th resolution of the Security Council to bolster our legal case. That’s very clear, we wanted the 18th resolution to put more political pressure on Iraq. That’s the reason why we wanted it.”
In other statements, Howard cleverly turned into question of personal criticism into a plea not to criticise the troops themselves. Clever, because what kind of a bastard would hassle Australia’s brave future veterans? Nevermind that no-one’s talking about hassling them.